March 19, 2018 

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DISMAL SCIENCE: A term for the study of economics developed during the late 18th and early 19th century when economists concluded that continued population growth would push wages and living standards to a minimal subsistence level and keep them there. It persists to the present time because economics continue to point out that actions result in opportunity cost, that nothing is free, and that eventually society has to pay the price for what it does.

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Lesson 4: Production Possibilities | Unit 3: The Curve Page: 11 of 24

Topic: Slope and Cost <=PAGE BACK | PAGE NEXT=>

The slope of a line is measured by calculating the change in the value measured on the vertical axis divided by the change in the value measured on the horizontal axis.
  • Another way of saying this is to take the rise over the run.

    risechange in shoes
    slope =---- =--------------------------
    runchange in calibrators

  • Slope between I and J is -70. Rise is a decrease of 70. Run is an increase of 1.
The slope of the production possibilities curve is the opportunity cost of the good measured on the horizontal axis, which in our example is clock calibrators.

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A perfectly competitive firm's factor demand curve is that negatively-sloped portion of its marginal revenue product curve. A perfectly competitive firm maximizes profit by hiring the quantity of input that equates factor price and marginal revenue product. As such, the firm moves along its negatively-sloped marginal revenue product curve in response to changing factor prices.

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Today, you are likely to spend a great deal of time visiting every yard sale in a 30-mile radius looking to buy either a T-shirt commemorating yesterday or a pair of handcrafted oven mitts. Be on the lookout for cardboard boxes.
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Cyrus McCormick not only invented the reaper for harvesting grain, he also invented the installment payment for selling his reaper.
"Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires...courage."

-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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